By Miriam López González,1º ESO E
From the 18th to the 25th of October 2018, eighteen exchange students and two secondary school teachers from Kelvin Hall School, located in Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, England, came to our high school and experienced some Asturian traditions, such as the “esfoyaza” while they listened to a student from our school reading the first chapter of the short story El Esfoyón, by the Asturian writer Eva Canel.
In this chapter, the author describes how the “esfoyaza” was.
At the end, they ate chestnuts, roasted over an open fire and served in paper bags by some members of the Parents’ Association and they also drank sweet cider. The students enjoyed themselves doing these activities.
They were very surprised when they first saw how the ears of corn grew on the stalks in our school garden.
The word “esfoyaza” is used in Asturias to describe two different but related actions. On one hand, “esfoyaza” is the action of stripping the corn cobs, on the other, it is the gathering of neighbours or relatives to carry out this task, in addition to putting the corncobs on a string. The “esfoyaza” was held in one house and the next day in another. Everyone was welcome to work. Children and women pulled the leaves up, while men were in charge of taking the stripped corncobs to a kind of barn, called “hórreo” or “Panera”, a typical granary from the northwest of the Spain, built in wood and stone and used to protect the harvest from moisture and mice.
While people worked they sang or chatted to one another in a lively way. They told stories.
Like all the other rural tasks, the meeting ended with a snack.